Oxfam Canada’s Executive Director Julie Delahanty announced today that she is stepping down to pursue new challenges and allow for new leadership to emerge.
“I have the best job in the world, so obviously making the decision wasn’t easy,” said Delahanty. “During my time at Oxfam, I’ve met so many women, men and children whose lives have been transformed by our humanitarian assistance, our long-term development programs and our advocacy to tackle poverty and inequality around the world.”
A committed feminist and long-time women’s rights activist, Delahanty joined Oxfam Canada as Executive Director in September 2014.
Under her leadership, Oxfam Canada has launched new programs on sexual and reproductive health and rights, ending violence against women and girls, women’s transformative leadership, women’s economic justice and gender in emergencies. She has invested in the organization’s advocacy capacity, and positioned Oxfam Canada to effectively influence the Canadian government on important domestic and global policies – ranging from investing in women’s and feminist organizations and movements to global leadership on sexual and reproductive health and rights. She has played a leading role in charting the Oxfam confederation’s gender justice agenda, enhancing its safeguarding policies and practices and transforming its organizational culture. She has led Oxfam Canada to put feminist principles at the heart of all its work – its programs, advocacy, partnerships and organizational policies and culture. In 2016, she was named one of Canada’s Top 100 most powerful women.
Delahanty has been deeply invested in working with others across the humanitarian aid and development sector – in Canada and globally – to enhance the sector’s impact and resilience. She has worked closely with leaders of other Canadian organizations to strengthen the Humanitarian Coalition and push for Canadian leadership on sexual and reproductive health and rights through the Future Planning Initiative. She is the co-chair of the Canadian Council for International Cooperation’s Steering Committee to Address and Prevent Sexual Misconduct in the International Development and Humanitarian Aid Sector and sits on the From Pledge to Action Advisory Committee of InterAction, the largest US alliance of NGOs and partners. She has been a staunch advocate of Canada adopting a feminist foreign policy, leading the Canadian delegation to the W20 in China in 2016, Germany in 2017 and Argentina in 2018 and playing a key role in the first-ever feminist W7 in Canada in 2018.
“Julie has led the organization with immense dedication, leveraging exciting opportunities but also steering us through challenges. We are incredibly grateful to Julie for her vision, intellect and energy, and for leaving Oxfam Canada in such a strong position to tackle global poverty and inequality through the realization of women’s rights,” said Ricardo Acuña, Chair of Oxfam Canada’s Board of Directors. “We should not underestimate the impact she has had on Oxfam and the legacy she is leaving – here in Canada and around the world.”
“I am confident in Oxfam Canada’s future, and the impact I know it will have on inequality, on poverty and especially on gender justice and women’s rights. I am so reassured knowing that the organization has strong momentum, a talented and dedicated team and a committed base of generous supporters across Canada,” Delahanty said.
“I believe strongly that leadership renewal is what keeps organizations like Oxfam relevant. This is a good time to welcome a new Executive Director, who will lead the organization into the future.”
Oxfam Canada’s Board of Directors has begun a recruitment process. Depending on the speed of the recruitment process, Delahanty will leave the organization in January 2020.
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